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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

February 23, 2012 at 1:14 PM

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Seahawks GM says free-agent negotiations 'going well'

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's no animosity in the Seattle Seahawks' negotiations with running back Marshawn Lynch, whose contract is up.

But there's no deal to keep him in Seattle, either. At least not yet, but general manager John Schneider said the two sides continue to talk, and in fact, he would be meeting with Lynch's agent on Thursday night in Indianapolis where the NFL scouting combine is being held.

"We're having great discussions," Schneider said. "We've had great discussions since two or three weeks left in the season. There's no animosity at all. It's good dialogue."

Lynch is one of nearly 20 Seahawks currently scheduled to be unrestricted free agents, a group that includes starting defensive end Red Bryant and middle linebacker David Hawthorne.

Lynch became the Seahawks' first 1,000-yard rusher in six years last season while Bryant has been a key element of Seattle's rush defense since moving from tackle to end after Pete Carroll arrived as coach.

Seattle does have the option of using the franchise tag on one player, making him a restricted free agent. Schneider said the Seahawks would consider using the franchise tag on Lynch should the two sides not reach a deal.

Each NFL team has only one franchise tag, and the Seahawks could have two priority free agents in Bryant and Lynch, which would seem to leave the Seahawks vulnerable to losing one. There's still time left, though, as the deadline for applying the franchise tag is March 5, and free agency doesn't begin until March 13.

"Things are going well," Schneider said. "There's no panic. We want Red back. We want Marshawn back. If they decide to go somewhere else, that's a bummer. They know how we feel about them and they know we've been busting our tails trying to get them signed."

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